Well, whaddya know: Hallmark Channel Reaffirms Series Order To ‘Cedar Cove’ Starring Andie MacDowell.  Our old friend, Carl Binder, takes the reins of a new series, Cedar Grove, for the Hallmark Channel. According to the interweb: “Production will take place in Vancouver”. And we all know what that means.  Yes!  I’ll finally get the opportunity to make my acting debut.  At present, I’m not sure what recurring role I’ll be playing – the quirky love interest, the mysterious out-of-towner, the eccentric freelance photographer for the local paper – but I’m sure Carl will come up with something spectacular and befitting my thespian talents.

When my sister and I were kids, my father used to forage for wild mushrooms.  Invariably, he would always come back with Shaggy Manes.  Creamy white and bell-shaped, they were utterly delicious pan-fried with with a bit of butter salt, and garlic.  I don’t see them around anymore and, even if I did, I’m not sure I’d have the confidence to correctly identify them.  I mean, what do I know?  Well, I suppose at the very least I know that poisonous mushrooms DO exist unlike, say, unicorns or a good movie about talking cars – which is more than can be said for this family: Family seriously ill after eating wild mushrooms for dinner.  Two points of interest in the article.  The first: “Pakistan-born Noor said she was unaware wild mushrooms could be lethal because it was common to pick and eat them in her homeland.”  The second: “A family was rushed to hospital after a woman mistakenly served “magic” mushrooms she had picked from her backyard.”  Believe me, if they had ingested the “magic” variety of mushrooms, their symptoms would have been very different.  Instead of vomiting and diarrhea, they would have experienced a deep-seeded sense of well-being, a newfound appreciation for the comedic merits of the old Naked gun movies, and a girlfriend tripping out because she is convinced your head is expanding before her eyes.

Coincidentally, we picked up the above-pictured ‘shroom from a vendor at Granville Island today and will be having it for dinner tonight.  It’s (fingers crossed) a perfectly safe matsutake, highly prized in Japan, that Akemi will be preparing two ways: in soup and with rice.  Wish us luck! 

I knew it!  Creativity linked to mental illness, study confirms.  It explains A LOT.

Back in Montreal, Baby cat has bounced back a little.  He’s at the hospital, on I.V., but has resumed eating again and is in better spirits.

Mom pays Baby a visit.

Also in Montreal, sis’s husky, Aspen, is feeling down after his recent chemo session.  I’m sending positive thoughts.  Also, I recommend he sit down to a couple of episodes of Modern Family to help lift his spirits.

Aspen shamed.

Here on the west coast, my dogs are doing just fine (outside of Lulu’s serial vomiting):

Jelly out mushroom-sniffing.
Lulu feeling a little melancholy.

She may be my girlfriend but her heart belongs to Bubba.

Fallen behind on the new t.v. season?  Fret not.  The gang at cracked.com have you covered: The 10 Dumbest Things on TV So Far This Season

40 thoughts on “October 18, 2012: Oh, covering just about everything!

  1. Oooh! Oooh! I just noticed that you added Sky High to the list! My kids always loved that one and they (we) still watch it sometimes. I’ll be interested in hearing your opinion.

    Congratulations to Carl! I seldom watch the Hallmark channel, but for you and Carl, I’ll make an exception.

    I’m glad Baby is better and hope that Aspen feels better soon.

    I am also looking forward to your upcoming trip to Japan. Experiencing Japan vicariously is not as much fun as being there, but it’ll have to do for now. Doing anything besides restaurant hopping in Tokyo this time around?

  2. Cool that Baby cat is eating now. Hoping that Aspen’s chemo goes really well. Glad the dogs are doing good and hopefully Lulu’s stomach feels better soon.

    I agree, the Revolution points in that article are pretty relevant and I’ve been getting a bit sick and tired of the daughter’s attitude, not to mention how naive her brother was when he had the big chance to leave you know who where he was. (rollie-eyes) LoL 🙂

  3. Yes, saw that Cracked article. I had really hoped Revolution would be…good. Unfortunately, the plot holes have taken on the proportions of a Ori supernate, and I will now go back to programming more worthy of my time, should I manage to stay awake long enough.
    Sorry to hear the various critters are doing less than perfectly healthy, though optimistic all will improve.
    In the last year, I have seen an astonishing number of mushrooms popping up around the area, in particular in one neighbor’s yard. I’ve been tempted to get a mushroom guide, because I’m convinced at least some of them are edible. however, sanity for the moment has prevailed, and said mushrooms have been left to go where mushrooms in nature go; kicked and stomped on by people who seem to go berserk at the sight of a stray fungus.
    Great news on Mr. B. coming back. And recurring character? Surely the whole project has been built around you as the central character. Though I suppose with your schedule, perhaps you could phone in your role, ala Charlie’s Angels. Looking forward to see more of his work as the project moves forward. Thanks for the pictures and enjoy the mushroom….

  4. Glad to see pictures of the fur balls. Hope Baby and Aspen recover nicely. Is that a recent pic of Aspen or one from Christmas past? Tasha, my Siberian is also a master in `finding` things to be guilty about…. gotta love these Huskies.

  5. The National Audubon Field Guide to North American Mushrooms – excellent, my dad carries it.

    I asked my grandma how she knew the mushrooms she was preparing that day weren’t poisonous and she just said we’d know later. They were morels, so she knew they were fine. That stuff about there being something poisonous that looks like a morel is just that if you’re going off poorly written descriptions, you might make a mistake, but if you’ve ever seen a morel, you know what it looks like.

    Your listed symptoms of having ingested magic mushrooms sounds very specific.

    Hugs to all the sick and melancholy pets.

  6. “I’ll finally get the opportunity to make my acting debut. At present, I’m not sure what recurring role I’ll be playing…”

    You’ll probably be the guy in the background across the street, walking by eating something.

  7. And this WHY I don’t eat Mushrooms. It’s not that I didn’t like them on those few occasions when I did happen to have them present in some dish – [I actually didn’t mind the shitake ones]. It’s just that after a certain high school biology class, I seriously do NOT *TRUST* OTHER People’s “ABILITIES” in Proper Identification!!

    The survival rates of Botulism are still way too low for my tastes, thank you!!

  8. Hoping Baby and Aspen feel better soon! We’ll be dealing with more dog surgery here in the next week or so. Cody’s dewclaws were supposedly removed (according to the breeder), but I noticed that the dewclaws were still there and that the nails are growing into the pad. My vet took some radiographs and said it was a botched job by the vet who did it. His tail docking was also badly done, but hopefully we won’t have to do anything about that. The breeder is ignoring all phone calls and emails (natch), but I’m not surprised; these kinds of people are a dime a dozen. At the very least, an apology would be nice! I would, however, like the vet that botched the job to cover the cost of repairing his/her mistake. I’m not going to sue anybody, but damn, I’m pissed off. Poor Cody has to go through this, and it’s going to suck for him. Quite frankly, tail docking, ear cropping and dewclaw removal are barbaric practices that need to be stopped, in my opinion. Now I’m a nervous wreck, just hoping he’s in and out of this mess quickly. This little pup has the BEST personality ever, I just adore him (and so does Riley)!

    Love the doggie pics, Joe! I love the ones of Jelly in the leaves. 🙂

  9. All I know about mushrooms is this – I don’t eat anything that can grow between my toes. 😛

    Also, pretty sure that first mushroom is the poisonous amanita muscaria, so I hope you weren’t picking any of those. When I was pretty young I read a ‘drama in real life’ story in Reader’s Digest about a whole family sickened by poisonous mushrooms, and have avoided mushrooms ever since. I don’t mind the flavor, but I absolutely hate their texture, so that makes it pretty easy to exclude them from my diet (though I don’t mind a mushroom gravy or truffle-infused oil).

    Speaking of diets, I’ve been gluten free for two weeks now, and I have noticed quite an improvement in how I’m feeling. More energy, more focus. I’m still having some digestive issues, but since I’m feeling better in other ways I can’t help but think that I might have a gluten sensitivity. Also, I’m still eating carbs in the form of gluten free subs (cookies, breads, etc), so my caloric intake hasn’t changed, but I am losing weight. Now, I might be losing weight because I have some horrible disease, but for now I’d like to think it’s because my body is enjoying its new gluten-free environment. I’m still not totally convinced it is the gluten, but I will continue to avoid it for now since I am feeling better.

    The past 24 hours have been pretty anxious ones for me. Last night my Boo kitty was picked up by a lady from Animal Alliance, a group that works with the township and Petsmart to spay and neuter animals through the shelter. It was really hard sending him away – he was sooo scared! And so was I. I know the operation is relatively simple, but any operation can have complications. Also, he was soooo scared! 🙁

    This morning I attended a funeral for my cousin. He was only 38 – died in his sleep . Very said, but I didn’t really know him (met him maybe once or twice), but I am close with his dad and so attended more to support him than to mourn a relative I barely knew. Anyways, when I got back home there was a message on my answering machine – Boo was okay! The Alliance lady brought him home about 6 tonight, and he’s doing just fine. First thing he did was run to the litter pan to pee-pee. Then he got on the bed (on a towel I put down for him) and washed and washed and washed while he purred and purred and purred! He was purring so loud Mr. Das could hear him from the bedroom clear across to the far side of the living room! Poor fella – he was SO happy to be home! He’s not quite his active self, but he has managed to chase Big Girl and catch a cricket, so he should be back to his ol’ self soon. Right now he’s zonked out on the ‘ship bed’, and I think I just might join him. 🙂

    @ Momma Mallozzi and Baby ans Sis and Aspen – Sending good vibes and thoughts your way! I know how hard it can be taking care of a sick pet – sometimes we just feel so helpless when our furry babies aren’t doing well. My Big Girl was sick a couple weeks back and we thought we were going to lose her again (she lost a whole pound in a week – that’s a lot for a cat), but found out she had a throat infection, and after a round of antibiotics she’s eating normal again. But she has a lot of issues – thyroid, heart murmur, breathing issues, digestive issues, joint issues – the list goes on for the old lady. I just try to keep her comfy, and treasure each day she’s still with us.

    I will say this – the best ‘therapy’ I’ve had since losing Cowcat and Marbles over the past couple of years is getting this kitten. I know that animals don’t live forever, and it’s painful to love them and then lose them, but there are SO many animals out there in need of a home that bringing another one into your life isn’t hard at all, and it’s good for you and for them. I’m not saying that pets are ‘replaceable’ – each one holds a special place in your heart. But a new pet has a magical way of making the pain, and the sense of loss, go away. I just can’t imagine living in a house without a furry critter to keep me company.

    Okay…bed and Boo kitty are calling! Gonna pop in Christopher Lee’s ‘The Mummy’ and go sleepies! I watched ‘The Curse of Frankenstein’ tonight – not the first time I’ve seen the movie, and not the first time I’ve wondered how on earth Lee managed to make the Creature so damn sexy! 😆 O mean… 😛 I really do have strange taste in men. 😛


  10. Lor’ – that thing is FULL of typos. DAMN that sexy Christopher Lee!!! He went and got me all flustered.



  11. Sorry to hear the family pets aren’t feeling their best of late. 🙁 Hope everyone recovers soon!!

    Your birthday dinner looks fabulous! All except the horse. I just like horses as animal and friend too much to enjoy the idea of eating them.

    As for that TV list…I am terribly amused that all but one are Revolution. I’m really disappointed, actually. I haven’t started watching the show yet (night classes, yay) but I had high hopes for a Kripke/Abrams show and it just sounds ridiculous from nearly everyone I’ve talked to. Although it did provide some humor when a top political scientist went on a bit of a rant about just how impossible everything was. And number 5…that Packers gave will forever go down as the WORST THING EVER. Ugh, those refs. To be honest, that should be number one, however bad Revolution may be.lol

  12. Instead of vomiting and diarrhea, they would have experienced a deep-seeded sense of well-being, a newfound appreciation for the comedic merits of the old Naked gun movies, and a girlfriend tripping out because she is convinced your head is expanding before her eyes.
    not that you would know that, right? 😉

    and that list should be called; reasons revolution is a stupid show

  13. N O T T A S T Y ! ! ! —————————————>

    Next time you’re out in the woods on location, I hope you don’t run into a bear with a taste for Italian.

    Congrats to Carl!

    Sending positive vibes to sweet Baby and Aspen.

    Oh, and a Belated Happy Birthday! 🙂

  14. Speaking of Hallmark, they make some good stuff. Specially The 10th Kingdom, a fairy tale fantasy mini series which had a $45 million budget back in 2000, but because the ratings were poor they never made more. To this day I’m still dissapointed because damnit I enjoyed the show. Averaging 8.2 out of 10 with almost 10,000 votes on Imdb, those who watch love the show, those who love the show are denied more because of the Nielsen system.

    Mentioning because Hallmark make some great stuff. I’m sure Cedar Cove will be good too.

  15. @for the love of Beckett: Beautiful Fall/Autumn photo! Thanks 🙂 Since it always seems to be raining, it means we lack the gorgeous red leaves – those are my favourites. Lovely way to start a Friday!!


    @Carl Binder: Good luck with Cedar Grove!

    @Joe: I wouldn’t forage for mushrooms (I know I’d end up in A&E! ) However, I could eat mushrooms ’til the cows come home; if someone served nothing BUT mushrooms on a plate for my dinner, I’d still be a happy bunny! Hope Baby and Aspen start to feel well soon!! 🙂

  16. You go Carl! Yes, Joe needs a job…maybe have him write an episode or two. Oh…yeah, Paul can help…:)

    If you think Revolution had plot hole up until now, wait until everyone discusses the train explosion that didn’t happen. The build up was that there was enough of a bomb in a hollowed out log to blow up the train and half the countryside. With the hero’s brother on the train, the good guys could not let that happen. So, the uncle had to retrieve the log out of the firebox with his bare hands (doesn’t get burned, by the way) and tosses it aside just in time. The anticipated huge explosion turns out to be minor, not even stopping the damned train.

    J.J. Abrams has some explaining to do. The show sucks.

    Hoping your family’s furry family members feel better soon.

  17. @Akemi: what is the best way to use Matsutake mushrooms? Raw? Stir-fried with other food? Added raw to soup or broth and allowed to cook for only a short time?

    @das: I’m completely with you on this one: I think Christopher Lee makes every character sexy! But maybe I’m just a little warped, too…
    I hope Boo feels better soon.

  18. Medical factoid of the day: @ganymede: Botulism is not something you get from mushrooms. It comes from Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic bacteria that is found in soil and grows in stuff like home-canned foods and also in commercially canned foods. That’s why if a can is bulging (from the gas formed as the bacteria grows) you don’t eat what’s inside!

  19. New rule, Network TV! Well, it’s always been a rule, but since you keep leaving your dirty dishes in the break-room sink, now I gotta’ put up a sign: Putting suspense so far above sense gets you neither.

    DunhDuhnDuhhhhn <<<That's me randomly ending a post on suspenseful music. That doesn't work either.

  20. Such a cute picture of Akemi & Bubba! Shouldn’t the dogs be sniffing for Truffles? You could make a fortune! I love mushrooms but I’ve read too many stories about bad ones to try picking them myself. What is the difference between toad stools and mushrooms?

    Deni: Some of the breeders do the declaw removal/tail docking themselves. Both procedure are very easy when the pups are young. I can’t imagine how a vet COULD botch those procedures. That is why I’m suspect a “home job”. I agree with you about stopping ear trimming. I’ve seen what happens when a dewclaw has grown into the skin, so I think that is necessary. The tail removal? I can see some benefits from it but I’d let that be a judgment call. We used to do the dewclaw and tail clipping when the pups were about 3 days old. They cry for a minute and go right back to sleep. It sounds like you have a great vet, so try not to worry about Cody too much.
    How is Lauren?

    Das: So sorry for your loss! I’m glad Boo is back home. I’ve heard gluten free diets help a lot of aliments and I’m glad it’s working for you. Yes, I agree with getting a new kitty/puppy. It’s hard putting your heart on the line again but new pets bring a lot of joy after a devastating loss.

    Hugs, prayers and well wishes for Aspen and Baby!

    Mr. M., have you watched Arrow yet?

  21. Sending much love to Baby and Aspen and every fur-baby out there.

    We had a nice crop of large white mushrooms on our compost pile. Not a clue if they were poisonous or not, so they were turned down into the heap. Sure looked tasty.

    You’d think that in all the years I’ve been going to Burning Man I’d have firsthand experience with mushrooms of the magical variety. Nope. Dang, huh?

  22. Kudo’s Carl, besides casting Joe you, there are probably (groan) “binder’s” of women qualified to perform on your show as well! Tip your waitress…

  23. Hey Joe, have you eaten at Wilderbeest yet (120 W Hastings?) We were there last night and it was amazing. Great atmosphere and amazing food.

  24. @Tam Dixon: You know, it never occurred to me (or my vet, apparently) that the breeder could have done this. It makes a lot more sense than a vet screwing this up! Idiots!

    Lauren’s in London, still having a bit of a problem with her pinched nerve, but having a good time (even though it’s a business trip) seeing all her friends. I’ve enjoyed having the house to myself this week, but looking forward to her return on Sunday.

  25. @das – I’ve gone GF again recently, too. Same boat of not being sure about the difference.

  26. That is certainly great news about Carl. Is he excited to be back? I’m sure it will be good times.

    I don’t really trust my judgement at all in picking mushrooms – store-bought only for me. When I was a kid, I remember being at a ranger presentation at one of our national parks that talked specifically about mushroom and toadstools and the thing I most remember is that “you can’t always tell just by looking” whether it will be merely tasty, or if you will die a horrible death by asphyxiation through diaphragm paralysis within the hour. So, not taking that chance.

    Mailbag question: Did you ever further consider adopting more pugs, as you were a few months ago (that were ultimately otherwise placed)?

  27. Also, if you are in the business of answering questions today, why is it that even bad potato chips taste good?

  28. @ das Good post das!
    Alas, I too have a kitty that’s been a challenge of late. Out of the blue she started defecating in different areas of the house and no where near a litter box. Uber gross. Nothing was changed, same litter, same location, same food, etc. I could see no reason for this behavior, no stresser, so took her to the vet.

    She has been on anti-inflammatory with anti-diarrhea pills since Tuesday. All back to normal until today when the floor & litter box was again hit with a mess. Poor Stash, my male cat, doesn’t know what to make of all this. I have changed the litter often and always scrub it down. May have to take Basil back to vet, although blood work & x-ray was normal.

    Anyone with advice?


  29. 2cats: When my kitten (years ago) starting that kind of thing, the vet I worked with told me to put a litter box in that spot. Dr. Moon (my previous boss) said put the litter box in the spot they are using and move it to where you want them to go. BUT only move it an inch or so a day. My hubby had a big laugh over this litter box slowly moving across the room but it worked! I don’t know why your cat is doing this, so maybe it won’t work as well for you. We can only hope and it’s harmless. Plus, according to my hubby, it’s terribly amusing. 🙄

    Deni: I’m glad she is feeling well enought to travel 🙂 .

  30. Joe , How goes the immigration process for Akemi?> I like mushrooms, but would not attempt to pick them for me, too much left to chance.(and possible fail)
    Congratulations to Carl on his new job!
    Bubba looks very content in Akemis arms!. Big hugs to Aspen, hope you feel better. And lots of little hugs to Baby for his improvement, and continued feel betterness.( i know,silly words)-but we get silly with our babies.) Thanks for sharing your day with us.

  31. Mailbag day! Get your questions in!
    1. what happened with the dogs you were looking to adopt? (or did i miss that?)
    2. any weird food purchase of the day videos on the horizon? maybe something in tokyo?
    3. while doing your days of stargate past entries do you think about what could’ve been done differently? should’ve gone with a different actor in a part or wrote a line differently? (for examples)

    BTW you don’t have to answer all of those if you don’t want any one would be fine. my preference is #2.

  32. Is Jelly posing? Is Jelly vain enough to know those fall leaves are a good color for her?

  33. @Joe – Mailbag:

    How are things going on the Dark Matter front? Last I remember was that things were stirring. Any updates?

  34. @ Joe – Do you find Christopher Lee as sexy as Sparrow and I do?

    Sorry, it’s all I could think of. 😛

    @ 2cats – Tam has a great suggestion. I had a cat that started doing that, and we tried everything, including isolating her to her own room with her own pan, and she still went outside the box. Alas, she is now an outdoor cat. 😛

    Made a good dinner tonight. Chicken curry with apples and raisins.

    Sauteed onions and garlic, added the chicken, cooked just a tad then added the curry and some water (about 1/2 c – was out of chicken broth, so I also added a bit of salt, too). When the chicken was about done I added chopped (peeled) apples and raisins, cooked them for a minute or two, removed the pan from the heat and added just a bit of corn starch (since I can’t go the rue route right now) and about 1/2 of milk, then returned to the stove at a low simmer. Served it over rice. It was VERY good!


  35. Sadly, our firewall is blocking that link. Reason? “Tasteless.” Well, how judge-y judge-y!

    However, I am heartened to read here that 9 out of 10 on the list are for Revolution. I had hopes for the show…until it started airing. It’s going the way of Terra Nova: way more fun to savage online that to actually watch. Seriously, if have haven’t seen it, don’t bother unless you want an aneurism – everyone in it is too stupid to live. Unless you or Cookie want something new to mock, in which case let me get my popcorn and you can have at it.

  36. Writers specifically were more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and substance abuse, and they were almost 50 percent more likely to commit suicide than the general population, the study found.

    Hmmmm…I wonder if indulging in foie gras and cod sperm is considered ‘substance abuse’? 😉


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